– Betrayed or Not?!!!
Boston: A friend of mine who is a female journalist handed me an edition of “The New Yorker” magazine of March 26, 2007. One morning , my earlier female journalist “P” came forward to me while i was focusing on my computer trying to read the news. She was holding the magazine in her hand when she asked me :” Did you read this article about how the iraqi translators felt betrayed by the Americans who did not offer any protection after being threatened?”
– I replied:” No, I did not. Where is that?”
– ” It is in The New Yorker magazine here, be careful there is unpleasent and a horrible photo of a dead man and hands tied whose body was thrown beside a heap of trash yard. read it but do not look at the photo because I could not. It is very disturbing” said “P”.
Believe it or not , the first thing i went to look at is the dead man’s photo before even reading the article, because it became a usual thing to look at.The article was a long one but it was one of the best articles I have longed to read concerning the Iraqis for long time. You should read it and if you ask why, I say because it was a genuin story about the Iraqis who worked as translators for the American troops or the administration in particular and any other American or foreign agency and were doing their best to help the Americans to understand the iraqi nature and how they can deal with them and what is the best way to reach out. it really reveals what many iraqis felt when the coalition forces came 2003 and how they feel now. Now they are in the middle seeking for a saviour but no one is trying to hold their hands and everybody is shuting the doors in their face.
After I saw the picture of the dead man by the trash like a dog, like this person never had life or dreams or expectations or worries. I strongly imagined myself end up like that. I burst in tears while reading and looking at the photo. I kept asking myself, what will happen to my family if they see me or find me on a trash heap or may be what will be left of me from the dogs’s bites? is this how our lives end ? is this how we are going to end up instead of dying in a respectable way? how can I imagine my dear mother could ever see me like that. She will definitely die. I have all these frightening pictures of how will I die? I could not tolerate with that, I promised myself if I ever under any circumstances end up in the hands of such thugs , I would kill myself before I let them torture me or terrorise my family. I believe Allah “God” will not punish me in hell for killing myself for I do not think he would like to see his creature being torutured and killed in such savage way. I do not believe so. It is true that I’m not in Iraq for now due to my fellowship which will last for a year and may not be able to extend my visa or my study for any reason and will have no choice but to go back to Iraq.
I kept this article with me in my handbag all the time and repeat reading it all the time. I began to ask myself , what wrong have we done to be betrayed by the Americans and the Iraqi Government and the neighboring countries ? was it those Iraqi translators’ mistake to be honest and dedicate in their work to convey the accurate information to help maintain security and stability in their country? and on the other hand, the iraqi government is doing nothing to protect the ordinary citizens not to mention the academics and the intellectual people who fled the country and left few intellectuals struggling to live or find a way to join the others and leave the country to the extreme radicals of both sects and the thugs to sabotage what is left of Iraq. Some of the Arab and neighboring countries still believe Saddam and his regime was a hero as long he was a dictator not showing any sympathy to how many Iraqis died for nothing because of his dictatorship.
Few of us who worked in foreign media agencies as translators and reporters were lucky to gain support from their agencies to send them on scholarships or fellowships for sometime away from violence and killings to gain reporting skills which I do not know what future left for us to see.And though we are far but we can not feel peace within ourselves because the death shadow over us and our families left behind is a constant worry. Many of us are torn between going back and continue working or staying here for safety until everything is clear and secured. Besides what is the point if we report and get killed and have no impact to make a change and without recognition to the fallen iraqi journalists or even pursuit their killers and put them to justice.
I know that no one can predict his/her death. And as journalists , we need to convey the truth at least for the history.But many of the poor Iraqis did not enjoy any kind of decent and peaceful life like anybody else in the world.Iraq which owned this huge heritage of civilization and loving people of science, literature , industry and most of all , their love for life.
Why many iraqis who worked with the American troops or in the Embassy or with the Administration should be abandoned after offering what they thought of serving their country to improve the situation and make it better. they risked their lives , of course nobody was forced to work with the Americans but Iraqis tried to believe in the American dream of democracy, freedom and prosperity. Besides, thanks to them , there were no other jobs after the fall of Baghdad. As U.S. is the most powerful country in world and they should have studied their agenda in Iraq thouroughly but it turned up that they did not. The Iraqis realized the opposite through the time.
Now how will the Iraqis trust the Americans as the latter do not trust the iraqis in anything since the beginning which the Iraqis did not realize that until they worked with them and they were trying their best to show them that they can trust them. There were few incidents but imagine if all the Iraqi translators who worked or work with the coalition forces or the embassy or in the Green Zone were tied with the insurgents? what could have happen to the Americans? of course huge amount of casualties but the iraqis did not sell them and I’m saying here in general and not to talk about individual incidents so please understand my view. The Iraqis thought by being honest , loyal and dedicate in their work, that they will receive some gratitude or recognition in return. Others thought they did their job and they would have done it even if it was not the Americans if the goal is to serve Iraq.There were American soldiers who worked in the Green Zone or in their units who really wanted to help the Iraqis and those who worked with them but they had to face bureaucracy in the system.Or that they were trained to trust The Iraqis. But I wonder why the American Administration want us to trust them while they do not trust us?
So who was betrayed here and whether we were betrayed or we chose to be betrayed?